Two Nicetown teens were held for trial on murder and other charges Tuesday in a Sept. 22 street fight near the Olney Transportation Center that left a 19-year-old man with gunshot wounds and that killed a 15-year-old girl walking home a block away.
Alleged gunman Darian Person, 19, and Quadir Gibson, 15, were held for court on murder, attempted murder, and related offenses following a preliminary hearing before Municipal Court Judge James M. DeLeon.
A key prosecution witness, 15-year-old Shanieh Merriweather, initially placed the accused at the scene.
On the stand, however, Merriweather recanted most of the statement she gave to homicide detectives, saying they threatened and coerced her into signing a statement they wrote.
Nevertheless, her statement was introduced as evidence - as was a statement Gibson gave homicide detectives.
Assistant District Attorney Mark Levenberg read Gibson's statement describing how he and some neighborhood teens had gone to the transportation center, at Broad Street and Olney Avenue, to watch a fistfight between "the Nicetown boys" and another group.
After police broke up the first rumble, a second fight erupted farther south on Broad, across from Einstein Medical Center.
Gibson's statement said he, on crutches and wearing a walking cast, found himself cornered by opposing gang members.
According to Gibson's statement, he called out to Person, who police said had been carrying a revolver: "Throw that . . . at him!"
Person allegedly fired five times, and the crowd broke up and fled.
Police found Donald Boseman, 19, wounded in the chest; he survived.
A block away across the street, 15-year-old Aisha Abdur Rhaman was walking home with a friend when she was struck by a bullet in the back. She dropped steps from Einstein's entrance with a fatal wound to the heart and lungs, and died at the hospital.
Defense lawyer William L. Bowe argued there was insufficient evidence to hold Person for trial, calling Merriweather unbelievable and Gibson's statement uncorroborated.
Gibson's attorney, Jonathan Altschuler, argued that there was no evidence that Gibson had a specific intent to kill anyone when he went to Broad and Olney that day.
DeLeon, however, cited Gibson's statement admitting that he knew Person was armed and ordering him to shoot at gang members surrounding him.